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Proba-2 Goes Gas

The European Space Agency (ESA) Proba-2 mission has entered its 2 month commissioning period following a successful launch. SSTL’s Microsatellite Gas Propulsion System is on-board the 137kg small satellite and was integrated by the satellite’s manufacturer Verhaert Space Systems. The Microsatellite Gas Propulsion System is based upon SSTL’s heritage xenon resistojet propulsion system. Its highly cost effective design provides an enhancement over conventional cold gas propulsion.
SSTL's Gas Propulsion System
By using the resistojet thruster to heat the exhaust gas to over 300ºC a 30% increase in efficiency is gained. The electronically controlled pressure regulation improves thrust control compared to conventional mechanically regulated propulsion systems for greater positioning control in orbit. The warm gas propulsion system is simpler, safer and cleaner than chemical propulsion systems. This makes them ideal for launcher injection correction, constellation station keeping and acquisition and orbit height maintenance for small, low cost spacecraft. Proba-2 is the follow-on to the highly successful Proba-1 satellite launched in 2001 that carried the Compact High Resolution Imaging Sensor (CHRIS) payload manufactured by SSTL’s Optical Payloads Group. Proba-2 will demonstrate 17 advanced satellite technologies "“ such as miniaturised sensors for ESA's future space probes and a highly sophisticated CCD camera with a wide angle view of about 120 degrees "“ while carrying a set of four science instruments to observe the Sun and study the plasma environment in orbit. A datasheet for the SSTL Microsatellite Gas Propulsion System is available on the SSTL Website.

 

 
 

 

 

13 November 20090 Comments1 Comment

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